Last summer my husband and I took our three boys on our first family cruise to Alaska. My oldest was going off to college and we stole one week of his last few days of summer. Our younger boys were 12 and 16, so we were determined to find a trip to satisfy all. We booked the gorgeous Celebrity Solstice seven-night Alaska Sawyer Glacier Cruise because the itinerary worked for us and also because there was an abundance of kid/teen activities while on board. The shore excursions would immerse us all in what the Alaskan frontier has to offer.
The Celebrity Solstice dazzled us as we boarded on day one. Our boys disappeared as they were magnetically pulled to the kid/teen zone and outdoors sports court. Quickly adapting to their absence, as we knew they were active and content, we enjoyed a slower pace while balcony reading with the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest shores and then being entertained at the Martini bar where the bartender mastered cascading martini pyramids!
The ship’s ten restaurants offered an array of epicurean delights. This made us all anticipate dinner hour when the boys availed us of their daily details. While the food was often creative and delicious, the service was attentive and fun, even engrossing us in their magic tricks. When not enjoying the haute cuisine, the boys were able to go freely to the multi-station buffet, consuming multiple bowls of ice cream and a lot of fruit, or so they claimed!
The shore excursions made the trip extra special. In Ketchikan, we enjoyed a hokey lumberjack show and an unforgettable day of fishing as we caught twenty-four salmon which we shipped home. We biked in verdant Skagway, zipped around in a high-speed boat searching for wildlife in Juneau and strolled through Butchcart gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. The highlight, though, was bearing witness to the breaching humpback and killer whales in Juneau!
While we waited anxiously for the next breach, I couldn’t help but gaze at my oldest, counting the days before college. While steadying his binoculars, surrounded by his brothers and youngsters of all ages, I thought of his fleeting childhood and how much this trip pulled out the inner child of all of us. That night while dining at one of the three Specialty restaurants, we toasted to our Alaskan memories before heading off to our respective corners of the ship, the sports court and the martini bar, something for everybody!